West Coast rapper, actor and television personality Xzibit (a.k.a. X to the Z)
is best recognized with his platinum album Restless (2000), which spawned the
hit single “X.” He hosted MTV's reality show “Pimp My Ride” in 2004-2005 and
could be seen playing roles in 8 Mile (2002), xXx: State of the Union (2005) and
Derailed (2005). He will soon be seen starring opposite Dwayne 'The Rock'
Johnson in the soon-to-be released football drama Gridiron Gang. As for his
music career, the husky-voiced rapper is expected to release his latest album,
Full Circle, in October 2006.
Childhood and Family:
Born Alvin Nathaniel Joiner in a rough part of Detroit, Michigan, on January 8,
1974, Xzibit spent most of his life with his father, a former Marine. His mother
died when he was only 9 years old. He followed his father and step-mother moving
to New Mexico and Arizona. Young Xzibit was constantly getting into trouble and
by the time he was 14, his care was administered by the state and was released
at age 17.
Xzibit has a son, Tremayne (Tre), aged between 8-10 years old. He was mentioned
in the songs “Sorry I'm Away So Much” and “The Foundation.”
Pimp My Ride
"I was doing dumb s**t, getting caught at state fairs with guns; ridiculous
stuff because I didn't have anything to focus on. I was angry; my mother had
passed when I was nine, my dad got remarried and we moved to Albuquerque, New
Mexico, which was a culture shock and difficult for me to adjust. I was acting
out and I did end up in these facilities. It was a conscious decision because my
father was a Marine and he was going nuts: 'What's wrong with you boy?' When I
left I was 17 and came to California and I started to realize, 'You know what,
I'm smarter than this.' I realized if I continue going down the path I'm going
on I'm gonna end up dead. It's easy to fall in line with everyone else but hard
to step out on your own." Xzibit (recalling his younger years and the start of
his music/acting career).
At the age of 10, Xzibit has started writing rhymes to kill his boredom. After
being released from the state facilities at age 17, he packed for California to
pursue a music career. There, he began as a member of the Likwit Crew, a loose
collective of West Coast rappers including Tha Alkaholiks and King T. After
touring with them in 1995, Loud Records head Steve Rifkin offered the feisty
young rapper his own record deal.
October 15, 1996 saw the release of Xzibit’s debut album, At the Speed of Life.
It spawned the singles "Paparazzi" (was featured on the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
video game soundtrack and during the final scene of Sopranos sixth episode "Pax
Soprana") and "Foundation." The album itself quickly became an underground hit,
peaking at number 74 on the Billboard 200 music chart.
"I named the album ‘At The Speed Of Life’ because there's a whole lot of s**t
that niggas go through. I know more niggas that is off-the-wall and crazy,
runnin' guns and s**t than I know regular Joes that all they want to do is feed
their kids. That's their speed. But it's weird how everything is coinciding
together, and at the same time is moving in all kinds of different directions."
A follow-up album, 40 Dayz & 40 Nightz, was released on August 25, 1998. It
spawned singles “Los Angeles Times” and “What U See Is What U Get.” Although the
album was sold fewer than 10,000 copies, Xzibit was again hailed as one of the
West Coast's most promising talents. He then scored big breakthrough when he
affiliated with Grammy-winning producer Dr. Dre in Snoop Dogg’s hit, "Bitch
Please." Subsequently, he made some high profile guest appearances on Dr. Dre's
multi-platinum Chronic 2001, on songs like "What's the Difference?" and the
posse song "Some L.A. Niggaz." During summer 2000, he joined Dr. Dre in the
massive "Up in Smoke" tour, which featured such hip hop superstars as Snoop,
Eminem, and Ice Cube.
In winter 2000 (December 12), Xzibit released his most successful album to date,
Restless. With Dr. Dre as the executive producer, the album boasted the single
"X," which became Xzibit’s biggest hit yet. Restless debuted at number 12 on the
Billboard 200 album chart and eventually going platinum. Also in this year,
Xzibit started his own label called Open Bar Entertainment.
The next two years, on October 1, 2002, Xzibit released his fourth effort, Man
Vs. Machine. It brought the singles “Multiply" (Ft. Nate Dogg) and “Symphony in
X Major” (Ft. Dr. Dre). With other special guests including Snoop Dogg, Eminem
and M.O.P, yet the album fell a bit short of mainstream success. It only
received Gold for sales of over 430,000.
"Man versus Machine, man… I thought it was fitting because I feel as though its
all type of shit we up against. It’s a corporate world, corporate machine we got
to battle. It’s a social machine we got to battle. It’s all type of s**t."
Weapons of Mass Destruction, Xzibit's fifth album, hit the music stores on
December 14, 2004. It spawned singles "Hey Now (Mean Muggin)" and "Criminal
Set." The album peaked at number 43 on the Billboard 200 music chart on January
1, 2005 and was certified gold on February 2, 2005. Meanwhile, Xzibit guest
starred in the song “Stand Up” on Alice Cooper’s 2005 album Dirty Diamonds.
Xzibit will soon finish recording his upcoming album, Full Circle, scheduled for
release on October 17, 2006. There will be 17 tracks on the album, and the first
single will be "Concentrate." Xzibit, also has a group with Mitchy Slick, Phil
The Agony and Krondon, called Strong Arm Steady. They are expected to release
their first album, Arms And Hammers, in the fall of 2006 under Blacksmith Music
Besides rapping, Xzibit has also branched out in acting. He made a few cameo
appearances in Snoop Dogg’s straight-to-video release, Tha Eastsidaz (2000; also
with Goldie Loc and Tray Deee), director Peter Hastings' live-action film The
Country Bears (2002), which was loosely based on the Disney attraction Country
Bear Jamboree, and the Eminem vehicle, 8 Mile (2002; also starring Kim Basinger,
Brittany Murphy and Mekhi Phifer).
In 2004, Xzibit began to play more significant role, in an action movie helmed
by music video director Mink, Full Clip, alongside Busta Rhymes. However, Xzibit
scored biggest exposure in 2004-2005 when he was chosen to host the MTV reality
show “Pimp My Ride,” where his job is bringing a participant’s poor car to a
custom body shop (West Coast Customs (WCC)) for a complete makeover. The show
earned Xzibit two Teen Choice Award nominations: Choice Reality/Variety TV Star
(2004) and Choice TV Personality (2005).
Back on the big screen, Xzibit could be seen playing Zeke the arms dealer in the
box office smash xXx: State of the Union (2005; starring Ice Cube). He also
became the muscle behind a sadistic robber (played by Vincent Cassel) who
blackmails a Chicago ad executive (played by Clive Owen) in the 2005
thriller/drama film Derailed. The film, directed by Mikael Håfström and also
stars Jennifer Aniston, was based on a James Siegel novel by the same name
adapted by Stuart Beattie.
During the summer that year, Xzibit also filmed Gridiron Gang, alongside Dwayne
'The Rock' Johnson, L. Scott Caldwell and Kevin Dunn. The film, about teenagers
at a juvenile detention center who gain self-esteem by playing football
together, is loosely based on the true story of the Kilpatrick Mustangs during
the 1993 season. It was filmed at Camp Kilpatrick a Los Angeles County Probation
Department facility in California and will be released on September 15, 2006.
Xzibit will play football coach Malcolm Moore in the sports drama.